The Israeli consumer is a little different from many others, often characterized as relatively optimistic and better able to deal with stress. (Sadly, this is the result of a highly tense day-to-day reality.) So the recession has been slower to affect her behavior than it has that of her counterparts in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Now, however, the recession is gradually influencing the choices and lifestyle of many Israeli consumers, a shift that’s come to the attention of some marketers and one fashion retailer in particular, Crazy Line. The chain recently launched a “basic line,” a clever way of retaining loyal customers who are now looking for cheaper clothing and attracting the value-for-money (VFM) consumer without damaging brand perceptions or forcing price adjustments for the original range. By providing existing customers with a lower-priced option, Crazy Line also minimizes the chances they will go elsewhere for a VFM solution.
One of the effects of any recession is a shift toward short-term thinking, with many people concerned mostly about surviving the immediate future. This has manifested itself in various ways and is currently emerging in the arena of B2B services in Israel. With many businesses having to let go of employees, buying software licenses does not seem cost-efficient. So Microsoft in Israel is now offering businesses software rentals. Microsoft’s communications stress the cost savings, the greater flexibility in terms of payment and number of software licenses, and the peace of mind this option provides. Companies that need to cut staff can do so without large sunken costs and can then re-expand with ease.
We have seen this shift from owning to renting in a variety of categories across the globe, but few have yet adopted this thinking in Israel.
“If you lose your job, we’ll cover for you” is a strategy we’ve noted that’s proved popular with a range of brands, from automaker (Hyundai) to airline (JetBlue) to phone company (Spain’s Telefonica). The New York Times also discussed this trend in an article that appeared today.
Now AIG Israel is putting a creative spin on the tactic: It’s selling mortgage insurance for people afraid they’ll lose their job after taking on a mortgage. If the fear is realized, AIG will pay the person’s mortgage for up to a year. It’s a way to sell security to consumers afraid of long-term financial commitments—and, for a brand that’s facing serious challenges, a way to attract consumer attention.